LearningLive Preview

This week see’s the institutes annual conference taking place in London with over 600 registered attendees we take a look at some of the highlights.

Session Lowdown with Robin Hoyle

We caught up with Robin Hoyle from Learnworks to understand more about his thought-provoking session at LEARNING LIVE.

Tell us a little about yourself, Robin.
I’ve spent almost three decades as a strategic L&D leader, trainer and consultant. I’ve also written two books: Informal Learning in Organizations: how to create a continuous learning culture and Complete Training: from recruitment to retirement. I’m currently working at Learnworks Ltd, where I am the Managing Director and Senior Consultant.

Now tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I’m a qualified cricket umpire!

Your session deals with social networks and suggests they may be “making us stupid” – which some may think is quite a provocative viewpoint. What’s your thinking behind this?
Well, despite the hype about so-called social learning, I’m not sure most of it is actually learning. The process of looking things up – performance support – is useful but it’s learning in the same way that following the instruction on flat pack furniture is undertaking a carpentry course. Without undertaking our own, meaningful, reflection we are in danger of swapping the wisdom of crowds for a hive mind and groupthink.

Who should come to your session and why?
Anyone responsible for developing staff capabilities, especially those who are thinking about introducing more on-the-job elements and/or looking to manage informal learning and collaboration as an integral component of their L&D activities.
There will be lots of points for the audience to mull over when they get back to the workplace, such as:
• Research suggests social networks need careful management to deliver benefits which outweigh the time taken to participate and establish them.
• Social links encourage conformity rather than innovation.
• Informal learning does not mean unmanaged or unsupported
• Reflection is the key to success – an individual’s social output is of more use to that individual than to the group with whom it is shared.

More details on Robin’s session here


Session Lowdown – Getting Creative in L&D

We spoke to Michelle Parry Slater and Amy Bran, presenters of “Getting creative in L&D” to find out more about their session…

Tell us a fun or surprising fact about yourself
I love voluntary work: I’m a Girl Guide leader, I am a Speaker for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and a Sunday School teacher for 2-4 year olds.

Tell us a bit more about your session at LEARNING LIVE
The session will be a very practical look at ‘How to Do’ workplace learning differently, with the added advantage of why the How works. We will be working in peer groups to raid our imaginations for every possibility available to us, then we will concentrate a look on the neuroscience behind the possibilities.

Why is this subject particularly interesting to you?
I have a background in corporate L&D so I know how tough it can be to move away from simple course booking to a more consultative approach, especially with all too familiar budget constraints. Whilst I love the theories and ideas which are shared at conferences and the L&D world in general, I know espousing theories doesn’t cut it on the ‘shop floor’, so to speak. I am passionate about sharing practical how-to-do options to help L&D move away from traditional to modern. That said, I also recognise the value of research, of benchmarking, of validation, of the science when proposing to do things differently in workplace learning. This is why we have Amy Brann with us, who will be able to give us the science behind the ideas to ensure that we have validity and credibility in our modern learning approach.

Who would benefit most from attending your session and why?
Those in L&D practitioner roles will have many practical ideas to takeaways, plus those in L&D management roles will get a flavour of what their teams could be producing, and anyone else who has an interest in neuroscience with a practical L&D application.

What are the key messages people will take away from your session?
Practical ideas they can quickly and cheaply implement in their work places, alongside evidential proof, both of which will help delegates provide proof of concept to stakeholders for informal and social learning strategies being incorporated into their learning interventions.


Session Lowdown – Performance Management

In this post, Paul Matthews from People Alchemy talks to us about his session at LEARNING LIVE.

Tell us a little about yourself, Paul.
I have been a bit of an adventurer in my time and I have been to some remote parts of the world. I crossed the Sahara three times, and the hottest day I experienced was 52 degrees in the shade. That is 125 degrees Fahrenheit!

Your session at LEARNING LIVE focuses on Performance Management. Can you tell us why you’re so passionate about this particular subject?
The way performance management is taught in every management training course I have ever seen is fundamentally flawed, and gives rise to dysfunctional appraisal systems and continuing poor performance. There is a simple answer which is to take a wider view of the whole performance system and help managers understand how to diagnose the true root causes of poor performance.

I believe that L&D has a much larger role that it can play within any organisation, and have far more impact than it does. In order to do so, it needs to step up more to the performance agenda, and get better at the way it converses with the organisation about performance needs. When L&D is truly speaking an aligned performance agenda, the ‘brand’ of L&D within an organisation will change for the better.

So, anyone who is interested in performance improvement should attend this session?
Yes – if you have an interest in helping managers diagnose and correct poor employee performance, then this session is for you. If you think that performance needs to improve in your organisation, either because it is below the required level, or needs to improve to meet future strategic needs, then this session is for you. If you want a better way to talk about performance with the senior team, then this session is for you.

You will take away a simple and proven process you can teach managers, and the senior team, to help them understand the true root causes of poor performance, and thereby give them visibility of the levers to pull to improve performance. A great by-product is that it will reduce their requests for training as the automatic solution to their performance problems.

More details on Pauls session here


L&D QuestionTime

We’re teaming up with hyper-dynamic B2B marketing agency, NowComms, to deliver a great kick-off event for LEARNING LIVE 2015.

L&D QuestionTime goes live at at 1:00 PM on Sept 9th, the first day of the conference.
The format is super simple: It’s Britain’s most loved debating show, flavoured for the L&D industry. Swap David Dimbleby for learning sage Nigel Paine, and expect a group of L&D trusted names and disruptive upstarts to make the show spectacular.


If you want to join in the live debate, you’ll need a LEARNING LIVE ticket. You can also vote for the question you’d like answered.

Tickets for LEARNING LIVE are available here.

L&D Question Time is free to attend but you’ll need to register beforehand – so make sure you arrive in plenty of time. Registration runs from 12 midday to 1pm.

We’ll be posting regular updates via email and social media, so keep an eye out.

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